Also found in: Medical.
renewal (regeneration) of an organ that is not similar to the one that was removed—in animals, for example, regeneration of the antenna instead of the complicated optic stalk of the suborder Decapoda. One of the varieties of heteromorphosis is the distortion of polarity —that is, the formation of the end of the body that is opposite the end removed. For example, in the earthworm the tail section is regenerated instead of the amputated head section. Heteromorphosis occurs in most types of animals, from the protozoans to the chordates, but it is more frequently encountered in the lower forms of animals. The phenomenon can be artifically induced by altering the conditions of the regenerative process. Heteromorphosis is an example of the imperfection of some manifestations of the regenerative capacity.